RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – Six days after the flames broke out of the McBride Fire, residents are finally able to return home to check on their properties. One man stayed behind to battle the blaze to protect his home.

Rick Koontz was one of many affected by the McBride fire. He didn’t have any warning when the flames broke out, just enough time to grab his wife and leave.

“We had time to get our dogs in the car and go and it was right I mean it was here and that fast when I mean things firing things. Branches blowing fire, it was scary,” said Koontz.

Rick owns an RV park here in Ruidoso. He says losing this would mean losing everything.

“I want to protect my property this is my retirement I’m 71 years old and pretty much fairly retired I built this you know this is this is our retirement,” said Koontz.

Rick stayed to battle the flames that were popping up around his home while his wife left. For those three days he battled his own blazes, trying his best to save his home using the water from his home to put the smaller flames out. It burnt his well to the ground and took out customers RV’s.

One of his biggest concerns was the propane tank behind his home.

“I was hearing propane tanks blowing up propane tanks we have three behind here that didn’t,” said Koontz.

His home was spared from the flames, but his garage was not. Rick says he and his family are lucky to be alive and still have a home

“This is all I’ve got look at my pickup, all of my tools got burned up in there,” said Koontz. “We’ll move forward you know and I’m thankful for another day and we’ll get through it.”

Rick says he plans to rebuild what he can but does not plan on leaving.